✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, July 8, 2019, and if you’re one of those people who prefers talk over text, yesterday probably sucked.
BULLETIN: GET ‘EM TO THE GREEK (POLLS)
• The Background
Voters in Greece headed to the polls four months early yesterday to pick the nation’s new members of parliament. The country’s centre-right opposition party, New Democracy, clinched the win in a landslide victory (with 158 seats, they’ll form a majority government), defeating the incumbent leftwing Syriza party, which had been in power since 2015. The anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party also got a rude awakening, receiving less than 3% of the vote and failing to secure a single parliamentary seat. The leftist MeRA25, led by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, did well, gaining 3.4% of the vote and nine MPs in parliament. The New Democracy party pledged to re-ignite the economy by luring in foreign investment and creating new jobs, while Leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis (who also happens to be the son of former prime minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis) has promised to unite Greece and be a prime minister of “all Greeks.” The Guardian
• What Else You Need to Know
Why did the Greeks hit the polls four months early, you ask? Good question. The general election followed a devastating loss by now outgoing PM Alexis Tsipras’ party in European parliamentary elections, after the New Democracy party beat out his Syriza party by a whopping 9.5 points. Tsipras called the snap election to steer clear of a prolonged pre-election period before the end of his term in October, which likely would have back-peddled much of the country’s economic progress since the nation’s historic bailout. This election could be transformative to Greece, as the New Democracy party will form the nation’s very first post-bailout government after nearly 10 years of recession.
• What’s Next?
The official handover will take place today, when Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be sworn in as prime minister.
• Panic in the Pacific
Indonesia was briefly under a tsunami warning after being hit by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake yesterday in the Molucca Sea, 185 kilometres southeast of Manado. The tsunami warning was cancelled later in the day with no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake. (Thank goodness.) Indonesia is one of the most disaster-hit countries on the planet, straddling the “Pacific Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates frequently collide. CTV News
• World: Burn Book
The U.K. has let the record show exactly what it thinks of U.S. President Donald Trump, and it’s not great. In a diplomatic cable leaked Thursday, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, described Trump as “diplomatically clumsy and inept.” (You don’t say.) “We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable,” the memo read. The leaked documents reveal that the friendship Britain and the U.S. have shared since WWII has been cast into doubt under the Trump administration, mainly due to Trump’s “America First” attitude and the White House’s questionable response to foreign policies. CBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home.”
– Toronto Raptors head coach, Nick Nurse, on the news that superstar Kawhi Leonard decided to sign a four-year deal with the L.A. Clippers. CBC News
• Bad Business
Deutsche Bank just announced a sweeping restructuring plan that’ll cost an estimated 7.4 billion euros and 74,000 employees globally by 2022. (Ouch.) The bank plans to pull out of global equity sales and trading and scale back on investment banking in what CEO Christian Sewing termed “the most fundamental transformation of Deutsche Bank in decades.” Deutsche Bank has been trying to dig itself out of a hole; it paid out a $7.2-billion settlement in 2017 for investment fraud and another $630 million that same year for Russian money laundering. It also paid a $2.5-billion fine in 2015 for rigging interest rates, and has recently had even more bad press due to its business relationship with Donald Trump. The bank hopes the restructuring will curb costs to $19 billion, a quarter of what it’s currently funnelling out. NBC News
• Soccer: Star-Spangled World Cup Win
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup may already be a sore spot for some Canadians, and it’s likely to get worse now that the U.S. team has taken the cup for the fourth time. The U.S. women’s national soccer team captured a final win against the Netherlands with a goal from the penalty box in the second half, scored by American sweetheart Megan Rapinoe, followed quickly by a second, drilled into the back of the net by Rose Lavelle. Despite Rapinoe’s public feud with President Trump, POTUS took to Twitter to congratulate the team some two hours after the win. Congratulations also came from First Lady Melania Trump, Barack Obama (who used the hashtag #OneNationOneTeam), Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Joe Biden, among others. The U.S. Women’s national team currently hold the record for World Cup wins. CNN
• Gone Too Soon
Disney star Cameron Boyce, who starred in Jessie and alongside Adam Sandler in Grown Ups, passed away in his sleep Saturday morning. Boyce was receiving treatment for an ongoing medical condition, and suffered a seizure, his family said in a statement. A Los Angeles native from birth, the 20-year-old was an active philanthropist, mostly with the non-profit Thirst Project, which provides communities with safe drinking water. Adam Sandler, who played Boyce’s father in Grown Ups, posted a eulogy to the young actor on Twitter: “Just the nicest, most talented, and most decent kid around. Loved that kid.” Other celebrities also offered kind words and condolences, including actor Mason Cook, choreographer Kenny Ortega, and beauty vlogger James Charles. CNN
• Philly F*cks Up
The city of Philadelphia decided to honour legendary soul singer Patti LaBelle with her own street in the city. Often referred to as the “Godmother of Soul,” a strip of Broad Street was renamed Patti LaBelle Way in a ceremony commemorating the Southwest Philly native and music sensation. But sadly, the city’s street department misspelled LaBelle’s last name on every sign installed at the intersection, failing to capitalize the letter B. The communications director for the city said they are aware of the mistake and the correct signs will be installed shortly. (Talk about buzzkill, with a capital B.) CBS News
• I Believe I Can Fly
On this day 71 years ago, the U.S. Air Force accepted its first female recruits. The Women’s Air Force, known as WAF, officially started when President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, giving women the green light to serve in the military. The program ended in 1976, when women were accepted into USAF on an equal basis.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Twin earthquakes shook up California over the weekend, the second of which was a massive 7.1-magnitude tremor.
• Social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, have not been invited to the White House’s social media summit. (Strange, considering POTUS uses Twitter to communicate literally every thought he has.)
• Apparently, Samsung isn’t the only one on the foldable phone train. Rumour has it that Sony’s launching its own version in early 2020.
• Disney just released the first trailer for its latest live-action remake. Mulanhits theatres early next year and features an all-Asian cast.
• Life Imitating Art
Further proof that politicians live in an alternate reality.